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Communication Graduate Program
Psy/Comm Bldg Rm. 3
Qingwen Dong
Graduate Director and Adviser, Department of Communication

Graduate Courses

COMM 200. Communication and Consulting. 3 Units.

This course explores topics related to the work of communication consultants. Through the course readings, presentations, workshops and other assigned work, students will acquire an understanding of the consulting process, including the role of the consultant, methods for undertaking a needs assessment, strategies for conducting training programs, and techniques for evaluating the work of consultants.

COMM 201. Applied Public Relations. 3 Units.

This course examines public relations strategies and tactics, as applicable to politics, non-profits and education. It will explore public affairs, public outreach and crisis management, and prepare students to communicate and utilize public relations with internal and external audiences.

COMM 202. Public Communication Campaigns. 3 Units.

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of communication theory as it relates to attitudes and behavior changes involving public communication campaign issues. The course will also develop an understanding of the application of various quantitative and qualitative research methods to the design, execution, and evaluation of public communication campaigns.

COMM 203. New Communication Technology. 3 Units.

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of a range of new communication technology and to give students basic skills and theoretical principles for their application to public communication through presentations, readings, videos placed on iTunes University and exercises. In addition, the course will enable students to identify, internalize and practice the necessary components of using new media technology for effective public communication.

COMM 204. Media Relations: New Media World. 3 Units.

The purpose of this course is to discuss and debate media relations principles and practices in relation to government, corporations, and public policy. From a scholarly examination of this unique and important form of communication, the course will survey the current trends and issues, and determine the validity of existing theories of media relations management from government, corporate, and community perspectives.

COMM 205. Communication Decision Making. 3 Units.

The purpose of this course is to assess communication strategies in decision making. From a scholarly examination of communication theories and decision making stages, the course will focus on the significance of communicating, administering, and evaluating decision making in professional environments.

COMM 206. Management of Organizational Communication. 3 Units.

This course examines both theoretical and applied approaches concerning the role of communication in various aspects of organizational function, such as motivation, leadership, decision-making, conflict management, and message management.

COMM 207. Advanced Professional Communication. 3 Units.

This advanced course both builds on basic oral and written professional communication skills, and goes well beyond them. The goals of this course are to provide opportunities for students to polish communication skills in different contexts, and to provide practice in and feedback on the interactive communication skills essential to successful professionals.

COMM 214. Argumentation and Advocacy. 4 Units.

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of argumentation, that is a method of decision-making that emphasizes reason giving evidence. The course includes instruction in debating, research, and critical writing, as well as advanced topics in the study of public deliberation. Prerequisites: three courses from COMM 027, 031, 043, 050 with a GPA of 2.5 or better, or permission of the instructor.

COMM 216. Rhetorical Theory and Criticism. 4 Units.

This course strives to help students derive insight into how symbolic processes affect human awareness, beliefs, values, and actions. The course treats criticism and analysis as methods of inquiry into the nature, character, and effects of human communication. It addresses various methods of rhetorical criticism in terms of their central units of analysis and typical intellectual concerns. Prerequisite: COMM 160 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 233. Documentary Film as Persuasive Communication. 4 Units.

This course is a survey of documentary film beginning at the turn of the century and continuing through contemporary productions from a historical and rhetorical perspective. Students explore documentary film's origins and trace out its development in relation to its use and reception as students become familiar with the history of the documentary, the evolution of the genre, its rhetorical construction and its cultural influences.

COMM 237. PR Case Studies and Problems. 4 Units.

This advanced course in public relations engages students in case study research and application of public relations principles. Written and oral presentations with adherence to professional standards of excellence are required. Prerequisite: COMM 135.

COMM 239. Theory of Mass Communication. 4 Units.

This course is an overview of major theories and research in mass communication. Students examine the application of theories that explain and predict communication effects of political campaigns, advertising, entertainment, and information. Theoretical areas covered include socialization, information, diffusion, advertising, persuasion, and uses of gratification's research. The state, function, and form of theory in mass communication is discussed. Prerequisite: COMM 160 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 245. Human Communication Theory. 4 Units.

Students study contemporary understandings of human interaction. Beginning with epistemological issues as a framework, the course examines theory building, foundation theories of our discipline, and contextual theories.

COMM 247. Nonverbal Communication. 4 Units.

The course examines major dimensions of non-verbal behavior exhibited by human beings in social interactional contexts. Special emphasis is given to such areas as human proxemics, kinesics, vocalics, haptics, and artifactual codes. Prerequisite: COMM 043 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 249. Introduction to Organizational Communication. 4 Units.

This course takes both a theoretical and an applied approach to introduce the student to the role of communication in various aspects of organizational functioning, such as motivation, leadership, decision-making, conflict management, message management, etc. Prerequisites: COMM 043 and COMM 027 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 255. Persuasion. 4 Units.

This course is a survey of social psychological and communication approaches to social influence. Both past and contemporary theorizing are explored, and the methods of empirical research is discussed. Prerequisite: COMM 027 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 256. Public Relations Campaigns. 4 Units.

Building on the skills acquired in previous public relations courses, this course is designed to help students continue to develop and refine their critical and creative thinking in an applied context. Students will research, plan, and design public relations strategies and tactics in the development of a public relations campaign for a real-world client.

COMM 260. Communication Research Methods. 4 Units.

Students study of research methods appropriate for examining communication-related problems. Topics for the course include historical-critical methods, descriptive methods, experimental methods, statistical models for data analysis and research reporting and writing. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required. Prerequisites: COMM 027, 031, 043, or permission of the instructor. Recommended for sophomores.

COMM 261. Critical and Qualitative Research Methods. 4 Units.

The course provides a graduate-level introduction to qualitative methods used in communication studies. Topics covered provide an overview of rhetorical analysis, critical and cultural studies, ethnography, and case studies in public relations. The course emphasizes the connection between the theoretical foundations of qualitative inquiry and their applications to communicative interactions. Applications include the writing of criticism, field work in ethnography, and case studies.

COMM 262. Quantitative Research Methods. 4 Units.

This course develops expertise in undertaking quantitative research at the graduate level. The seminar focuses on various quantitative methods, that include content analysis, survey research, experimental design, and scale construction, as well as statistical techniques for analyzing quantitative data.

COMM 271. Graduate Seminar: Rhetorical Thought. 4 Units.

This course provides a graduate level introduction into the theory and practice of rhetorical criticism. The course focuses on the role of the critic and six modes of criticism which are as follows: generic criticism, cluster, narrative criticism, narrative criticism, ideological criticism, metaphoric criticism, and fantasy theme criticism.

COMM 272. Graduate Seminar: Interpersonal Communication. 4 Units.

This course provides the student who has achieved a general understanding of interpersonal communication issues the opportunity to choose and explore a particular area of special interest. The first phase of the course focuses on discussion of several theories of interpersonal behavior. Beginning approximately the fourth week of class, each student brings in and presents two or more abstracts of published articles related to the interest area. The last session(s) provides the opportunity for students to share their conclusions with the others. Each student completes a paper which presents a research proposal in the area of interest. The term paper is due the last scheduled day of classes.

COMM 273. Graduate Seminar: Mass Communication. 4 Units.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to mass communication theory and scholarship from three different scholarly perspectives: the social science or traditional paradigm, the critical theory paradigm, and the ethnographic paradigm. Students are not only exposed to the literature in each of these areas, but they are also asked to conduct small scale studies from two of the three paradigms. Because the class is a seminar, student presentations and discussion are the major activity during class time.

COMM 275. Graduate Seminar: in Public Relations. 4 Units.

The Graduate Seminar in Public Relations is designed through in-depth study and research to formalize understanding of Public Relations: theory and practice, functions in organizations and role in society. Students study concepts and theories related to public relations role in social systems. A "mock" APR tests knowledge at the end of the semester with both a written and an oral examination.

COMM 276. Communication in Learning Settings. 4 Units.

This graduate seminar is designed to develop knowledge of current communication education research and effective communication strategies for teaching undergraduate courses in communication.

COMM 277. Media Relations. 4 Units.

This course is to discuss and debate media relations, principles, and practice.

COMM 278. Political Communication. 4 Units.

This course is designed to provide a grounding in rhetorical approaches to persuasion in a political context, to acquaint students with the range of political ideologies, and to examine the theoretical and pragmatic opportunities and obstacles to advocacy in the current mediated content of national, regional, or local politics.

COMM 279. Visual Communication. 4 Units.

This course investigates the persuasive influence of decoding visual images, advertising, public relations, political campaigns, public memory, and popular culture. Historical and theoretical aspects of visual communication will be studied in this course. Critical analysis methods and ethical implications of electronic and print media images will be discussed.

COMM 287. Graduate Internship. 2 or 4 Units.

COMM 289. Graduate Practicum. 2 or 4 Units.

COMM 291. Graduate Independent Study. 2-4 Units.

COMM 295. Graduate Seminar. 4 Units.

COMM 297. Graduate Research. 1-4 Units.

COMM 298. Non-Traditional Thesis. 4 Units.

After completing coursework and comprehensive examinations, students work in the Communication Graduate Program culminates with enrollment in COMM 298: Non-Traditional Thesis a three-part project that includes: a written Proposal for the non-traditional thesis, a written document that summarizes the non-traditional thesis, and a formal presentation and oral examination in which the student presents the completed work to his or her committee. The non-traditional thesis involves a study around an issue or challenge facing an organization or business with a media or public relations focus. It emphasizes both scholarly and practical application in line with the professional orientation of the Pacific Communication Department. The subject of the non-traditional thesis may be the student’s employer. Students complete the non-traditional thesis under the direction of a full-time faculty member, who serves as chairperson of the student’s non-traditional thesis committee. Two additional faculty members and/or industry professionals join the chairperson on the committee. A non-traditional thesis may take many forms, though all must be noteworthy for substance and artistic or professional quality. Non-traditional theses could include: documentary films and videos, slide programs, photo essays, feature or investigative article series, handbooks for professionals (e.g., the result of synthesizing and translating scholarly research), or magazine design and layout projects. The non-traditional thesis could be a well conceptualized magazine article series (for example, three 2.500-word stories) targeted to a specific publication. Such non-traditional theses must show both greater depth and breadth (conceptually, stylistically and in terms of quality of research) than any single assignment completed in a graduate level class. Prerequisites: Completion of 28 units and instructor permission.

COMM 299. Thesis. 2 or 4 Units.